Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stay Healthy Over the Holidays

Hair & makeup: Start out with an exfoliant to get rid of dullness. Look alert by dotting silver shimmer in the inner corners of eyes and right above eyebrow arches, and widen peepers by darkening and lengthening brows with a pencil. For an instant facelift, draw hair into a ponytail.

Wardrobe: Wear colors that you know warm and flatter your complexion. To distract eyes, pile on some heavy metal or sparkly bling.

Go wild: Before you head out, briefly hang upside-down from your sofa or bed to get blood flowing to your face. And above all, embrace the holiday cheer! After all, the holidays only come once a year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stay Healthy Over the Holidays

Holidays are both some of the most joyful times of the year and the most stressful. Between shopping, worrying about money and attending holiday parties, you need to take care of yourself first more than ever. Follow these tricks to look refreshed and ready to conquer the world.

Set the stage: During party season, avoid salty foods and stay hydrated to decrease puffiness. Keep a bag of peas in the freezer to reduce under-eye bags in an emergency, or try green tea bags steeped in cool water.

Stay tuned for more tricks to help you survive the holiday season.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Are "healthy" nail polishes really necessary?

There are three ingredients in nail polish you should avoid:

Used as a preservative in beauty products and known to cause itching and burning (and is classified as a possible carcinogen by the EPA). Countries like Japan and Sweden have banned it completely.

Or dibutyl phthalate, makes nail polish flexible and exposure to it has been shown to cause birth defects in animal studies.

Used as a solvent, is a toxin particularly harmful to the nervous system.

All three of these ingredients score a 10 (the highest) in the skin toxicity database and are linked to cancer, as well as other health consequences. Luckily, there are many brands now available that offer all the pretty, without so much of the toxicity.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Need a memory boost?

Give yourself some short-tern help by:

  • Paying attention: really listen to a name when being introduced. Repeat it out loud and make a comment about it (e.g. "Catherine, is that a C or a K?")
  • Using linking tools: Attach new information to information you already know.
  • Picturing it: Visualize a silly or strong image that you associate with someone (e.g. what animal does s/he remind you of?)

For help in the long-term:

  • Make like a vegetarian: Blueberries, strawberries and anything green and leafy (especially spinach) contain brain-boosting compounds.
  • Stress less: Exercise reduces stress hormones that can impair memory.
  • Work your mind: Keep on your toes with brain power games like crosswords or sudoku.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Are Sore Muscles Cramping Your Style?

Here are some quick fixes to get you working out pain free:

  • Stay hydrated- this will flush muscles of any lactic acid buildup (the root cause of evil soreness).
  • Stretch, stretch, stretch. Then stretch some more. Short on time? Start your workout with an easy 5-minute routine.
  • Go bananas- potassium helps balance the body's fluids and heal muscles more quickly (bonus: the carbs keep you fueled).
  • Give it the cold shower- taking an arctic dip immediately after a workout will help decrease muscular inflammation.
  • Don't be afraid to work it- a low intensity, light cardio workout for 20 to 40 minutes will get blood flowing, which combats soreness.